Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If your question or concern is not addressed, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please note this information does not supersede policies described in the UNBC Undergraduate Academic Calendar, and in the event that the information below and information in the Calendar are inconsistent, the Calendar will be deemed correct.


What is the Rural Nursing Certificate Program?

The RNCP is a provincial program offered by the University of Northern British Columbia’s School of Nursing.

The Program delivers a practice-driven curriculum through online courses, workshops and practical experiences to Registered Nurses and undergraduate student nurses. 

There are 7 courses in the certificate Program which provide students with the knowledge and clinical skills needed to deliver nursing care in rural communities and hospitals.

NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice is not a required course in the Rural Nursing Certificate Program but it is available to RN’s completing the entire Program or those who are seeking certification in remote nursing only.


What courses are offered in the Rural Nursing Certificate Program?

NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call
NURS 452-6 Chronic Disease Management, Palliative Care and Wound Care
NURS 453-3 Nursing Practice with Older Persons
NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care
NURS 455-6 Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma
NURS 456-3 Mental Health and Addictions
NURS 457-3 Living & Working in a Rural Community
NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice (This course is not required for the Rural Nursing Certificate Program but is available to RN’s completing the entire Program or those who are seeking certification in remote nursing only.)


Who can apply?

Applicants must be practicing nurses currently registered with the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP) and must meet the UNBC admission requirements, namely a C grade average (2.0 CGPA or 63 - 66.9%) in their Nursing diploma or degree.


How do I apply?

Go to our online application site and click on the “Apply online” tab. A non-refundable application fee of $37.50 is required and applicants must send to UNBC official transcripts from their nursing degree or diploma. An additional $40 fee will be charged for out-of-province or out of country transcripts.

Applicants also need to send to the UNBC Office of the Registrar, proof of BCCNP registration. Upon admission to the Program, applicants will be sent an immunization form that must be completed by a PHN, NP or MD.


What are the application deadlines?

  • August 1st is the deadline for the September semester.
  • December 1st is the deadline for the January semester.

How is the Rural Nursing Certificate Program delivered?

All of the courses in the Program are web-based. Learn (Blackboard) is the online learning management system used to deliver the RNCP courses. Some courses include a mandatory workshop and or practicum component.


Do I have to complete all of the courses in Rural Nursing Certificate Program?

Students can complete the whole certificate or take individual courses based on interest or need. For example, NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care is a popular stand-alone course. The courses can be taken in any order; however, it is recommended NURS 451-6 Health Assessment and RN First Call be completed before NURS 455-6 Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma.


Can I take only NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call?

Yes, it is possible to take only NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call. Currently, this course is offered in the September and January semester.


Can I take only NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice?

Yes, it is possible to take only NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice. Currently, this course is offered only in the January semester.


How do I become certified with BCCNP after taking NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call or NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice?

Upon successfully completing either course, the candidate completes a form 62 "Certified Practice Registration," which can be found on the BCCNP web site. For additional information on becoming certified, please visit the BCCNP Certified Practice web site.


Can I challenge the exam in NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice?

Nurses seeking the challenge exam must contact the BC College of Nursing Professionals for determination of eligibility. Nurses deemed eligible by BCCNP are permitted to register for the challenge exam.


What is needed to participate in distance education?

Students must have a home computer and access to preferably high-speed Internet. Their computer should have the latest Java installed, a word processing program, preferably Microsoft Word and a PDF reader. Feel free to contact us for more information in this regard.


What type of technical support is available?

We have several dedicated e-learning support staff who are available to the students from the moment they contact us about the Program. Our support staff will assist students with any technical problems they encounter throughout the course.

Our aim is to respond to email or phone messages within 24 hours or in a shorter period of time on days that assignments are due.


Is the program self-paced?

None of the courses in this Program are self-paced.  Students must log into their courses on the first day of classes or very shortly thereafter and familiarize themselves with the course requirements i.e., due dates for assignments, participation requirements, dates for workshops and practica etc. 

The certificate is designed to be completed part-time, namely 6 credit hours per semester but students can increase or decrease their load depending on their preference, course availability, and their personal circumstances. It takes 2.5 years to complete the entire certificate taking 6 credit hours per semester.


How much time will I need to spend on these courses?

Students should budget at least 10-12 hours per week for a 3 credit course; a 6 credit course (or two 3 credit courses) requires 20-25 hours per week. People who have limited experience working on computers or who have not been students in a long while should budget for several more hours per week.


What are the practicum and workshop requirements?

NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call includes a five-day workshop.
NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care includes a 1-day workshop and a 144 hour (twelve 12 hour shifts) practicum.
NURS 455-6 Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma includes a 3-day workshop and a 144 hour (twelve 12 hour shifts) practicum.
NURS 458-6 Remote Certified Practice includes a workshop with an expected duration of 6 days.

Attending workshops and practicums is mandatory and will require travel and time away from home and work. The costs associated with workshops and or practicum are the sole responsibility of the student.


Can RNCP students complete a nursing degree?

The Certificate requires the completion of 30 credits, which can be applied toward a BScN at UNBC. An additional 5 courses (15 credits) are required for degree completion; all of these courses are offered via distance education.


How much does the certificate cost?

Tuition and fees in 2018/2019 are $616.04 for a 3 credit course and $1163.12 for a 6 credit course. A breakdown of tuition and fees can be found in the table of Regional Undergraduate Tuition Costs.

Textbook costs vary greatly with some courses utilizing online readings while other courses require up to 3 textbooks, which total approximately $300.00.


Is funding available to support nurses taking this program?

Visit the BC Nurses' Union web site for a list of bursaries and members funding opportunities, application instructions and deadlines.

Nurses working for Northern, Interior, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coastal and First Nations Health Authorities may be eligible for funding through their Health Authority. See contact information below:

First Nations Health

Erin Wiltse, Professional Practice Leader
Nursing
604-693-6814
erin.wiltse@fnha.ca

Interior Health

Eveline Lenoble, Specialty Education
Clinical Professional Education
250-469-7070 local:13189
eveline.lenoble@interiorhealth.ca

Northern Health

Stacey Pickering, Coordinator, Specialty Education
Clinical Education
250-565-5610
stacey.pickering@northernhealth.ca

Vancouver Coastal Health

Sandra Phone, Project Coordinator/Analyst
Clinical Education
604-875-5600 ext. 22021
sandra.phone@vch.ca 

Vancouver Island Health

Enid O'Hara, Manager of Rural Service
Strathcona Corridor & Northern Gulf Islands
250-283-2626
enid.ohara@viha.ca


How do I register for courses?

You must apply to UNBC to become a Rural Nursing Certificate Program student. After you have been admitted to the Program, the Rural Nursing Program Advisor will email you registration instructions.


Can I receive transfer credit for similar courses taken at other institutions?

Transfer credit may be awarded for coursework completed at other recognized institutions.  All transfer credit for coursework taken prior to admission will be evaluated at the request of the student and applied at the time of initial registration in the program. 

A maximum of 15 credit hours from other recognized institutions may be transferred into the RNCP and the BScN completion option.

Please contact the Rural Nursing Program Advisor for more information about transfer credit.


Where will I complete my practica?

Practicum is arranged by the Clinical Placement Coordinator (CPC).  A list of eligible facilities will be provided by the CPC and students will be given the opportunity to submit choices regarding their preferred practicum sites.  Every effort will be made to secure a placement site of the student’s choice; however, the student’s preferred placement is not guaranteed and students must complete their practicum at the facility they have been assigned. 


When are RNCP courses offered?

RNCP courses are offered in the September and January semesters.


Are Fetal Health Surveillance and Neonatal Resuscitation required for NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care?

Prior to the Perinatal Care practicum, students must provide proof of certification in the Fetal Health Surveillance course (FHS) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).


Who do I contact for additional information?

Please contact the Rural Nursing Program Advisor at rncpinfo@unbc.ca or call 250-960-6753.